Borgarnes

Learn about the Viking settlement of Iceland in the local haunt of a legendary figure from the sagas.

West Iceland
Rooftops of the town of Borgarnes, West Iceland
Rooftops of the town of Borgarnes, West Iceland
Best time to visit
All year
Parking
Free
Charging station
Yes

Borgarnes, Iceland delivers character, charm, and history

The quaint town of Borgarnes is located on a small peninsula in West Iceland that juts out into the Borgarfjörður fjord. You’ll notice the town is surrounded by sea on 3 sides, with impressive mountain views to boot.

Although the town itself was founded in the 20th century, the local area was settled in the 10th century by Viking Egill Skallagrímsson. His farm, Borg á Mýrum, is on the outskirts of the modern town, and is where the name ‘Borgarnes’ is derived from.

You’ll find Borgarnes located on the Ring Road, aka Route 1. The longest bridge in Iceland spans the fjord, connecting it to the south of the country.

This small Icelandic town made it big on the world stage in the 2013 Ben Stiller film Secret Life of Walter Mitty. You might recognize the town’s bakery, which was transformed into a Papa John’s pizza restaurant for the film, despite there not being any in Iceland.

What to see and do in Borgarnes

The star cultural attraction of Borgarnes is the Settlement Center museum. Here you can see exhibitions about Egils saga, which records the life and pursuits of Egill Skallagrímsson, as well as the settlement of Iceland.

You can see a burial mound erected in memory of Egill at the Skallagrímsgarður Park in the town center. There’s also the Borgarnes Museum, which features artworks by local artists and exhibitions on nature and history. 

Like every town in Iceland, Borgarnes has its own geothermally heated swimming pool. This one features water slides, as well as the usual ‘hot pots’ (hot tubs).

Borgarnes is a great place to refuel and grab a bite to eat on your way north or to the Snæfellsnes peninsula. There’s a few service stations to choose from near the Ring Road, as well as local cafés and restaurants in the town center.

Other attractions in the area

The town of Akranes with mountains in the distance

Akranes

Visit the outdoor folk museum and a historic lighthouse in this cute coastal town.

30 km (19 mi)

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Water coming out of colorful rocks at Deildartunguhver hot spring

Deildartunguhver

Marvel at the gushing waters of Europe’s most powerful hot spring.

36 km (22 mi)

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The Hraunfossar waterfall in winter covered in ice

Hraunfossar and Barnafoss

Take in the majesty of these waterfalls and discover the mythology of the local area.

59 km (37 mi)

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The Tjörnin pond in Reykjavík in summer

Downtown Reykjavík

Immerse yourself in culture, cuisine, and heritage at the beating heart of the Icelandic capital.

76 km (47 mi)

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